High Science Program of Studies

Program of Studies
 
High School Science courses generally come in four varieties that vary in their pacing, as well as the eventual depth to which key concepts are treated. Note that the levels are not intended to be fixed "tracks" but rather opportunities for students to pick and choose how and when to challenge themselves based upon their unique interest and college / career plans.
 
In simple terms, students can expect the following attributes as they move up from one level to the next:
 
Level Purpose Student Responsibility
Level 3
Courses at this level are designed to provide students a working knowledge of the discipline, but sacrifice some of the breadth and depth specified by the relevant state standards; this reduction in contend is necessary in order to provide time for modelling of academic skills, as well as in-class review and remediation.
This approach is less effective at preparing students for college-level coursework, especially in science.
These courses do not require prerequisites.
Students are expected to make the most of class time, and follow up at home occasionally during the completion of extended projects and preparation for assessments. 
Conceptual (Level 2)
These courses are taught at the College Prep level, but without the math component often seen in Chemistry and Physics coursework. 
While students will be expected to understand the core concepts of the discipline, they will not be fully-prepared for advanced coursework in the discipline, or prepared for a science major experience.
Successful students will remain engaged in class and regularly complete homework assignments in order to practice new learnings, complete projects and prepare for assessments.
Level 2 (College Prep)
Courses at this level are based upon the relevant state standards and are intended to prepare students for college in a general fashion, but without treatment of specialized topics or skill-sets required in college level science coursework.
Successful students will bring with them an academic mind set and a command of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
These courses may require limited math prerequisites intended to provide teachers with a benchmark for determining the problem solving ability of the students.
Successful students will remain engaged in class and regularly complete homework assignments in order to practice new learnings, complete projects and prepare for assessments.
 Honors
Courses at this level exceed the learnings specified by the relevant state standards and are intended to prepare students for AP or advanced college level science coursework.
Successful students will apply independent reading, writing, speaking and listening skills to complex learnings, and contribute actively during classroom or small-group discussions.
Honors courses may require math prerequisites intended to allow teachers to focus on science instruction, with limited time spent modelling problem solving strategies.
Successful students will remain actively engaged in class by regularly asking and answering questions, and commit time on a nightly basis to practice new learnings, complete independent projects and prepare for daily discussions and assessments.
Advanced Placement (AP)
These courses are taught at a college level and are often* a second year course intended to provide students an opportunity to apply the learnings gained during previous coursework. Rather than spending class time on acquisition of new knowledge, students are asked to apply an existing knowledge-base to complex problems in order to to deepen their understanding and transfer knowledge to new domains.
AP courses require successful completion of introductory coursework prior to enrollment, as well as math prerequisites intended to allow teachers to focus on science instruction.
*AP Physics I is a first year course and will therefore spend considerable time on acquisition of information, but do so at a rigorous pace.
Successful students will arrive at class with a mastery of core concepts and then remain actively engaged in class by regularly asking and answering questions and contributing their ideas to help define the direction of classroom discussions. 
A level of personal responsibility is required such that students determine what they need to do to master the material and prepare for class without the need for the teachers input.
 International Baccalaureate (IB)  Similar to AP courses, IB courses are taught at a college level and are often a second year course intended to provide students an opportunity to apply the learnings gained during previous coursework.  More so, the IB program is intended to draw students attention to the connections between topics and the practical applications of the content and skills via literacy-rich learning opportunities.  Since the curriculum and required assessments are based upon an international standard, students will find little difference between the coursework at CV and elsewhere.  Although not required, most IB students will be those who intend to complete a diploma program with requirements in each of the core academic areas.
 Successful students will arrive at class with a mastery of core concepts and then remain actively engaged in class by regularly asking and answering questions and contributing their ideas to help define the direction of classroom discussions. 
A level of personal responsibility is required such that students determine what they need to do to master the material and prepare for class without the need for the teachers input.
 
Core Coursework

9th - Environmental Science

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9th/10th - Biology
  • Level 3
  • Level 2 (college prep)
  • Honors Biology
10th/11th - Chemistry
  • Level 3 
  • Level 2 (college prep)
  • Honors Chemistry

11th/12th - Physics

  • Conceptual L2 
  • Physics I  L2 
  • AP Physics I

11th /12th - Elective Coursework

  • AP Environmental Science
  • Astronomy (semester, 1/2 credit)
  • Meteorology / Oceanography (semester, 1/2 credit)
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Zoology & Botany
  • AP Biology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • IB Sports, Exercise & Health Science
  • Biochemistry
  • AP Chemistry
  • AP Physics I
  • AP Physics C
  • IB Chemistry HL 1
  • IB Chemistry HL 2
  • HACC Introduction to Human Biology (semester, full credit)

 

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